When can you dispute a red light ticket?

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Question:

When can you dispute a red light ticket?

Answer:

Disputing a red light ticket is an option for any driver issued a citation for running a red light. In all circumstances, a driver issued a red light citation, whether from an electronic device or actual law enforcement officer, will receive a summons to appear for a hearing, unless they elect to plead guilty and pay the fine by mail, phone or electronically. In order to dispute the ticket, they should not pay the fine and attend the date noted on their actual red light citation.

Here’s where complications arise: While any driver is free to dispute his red light ticket, simply showing up on the hearing date is usually an ineffective method of disputing the red light citation. Depending on the case-specific elements in the red light ticket case, a number of viable defense options may arise. However, any driver wishing to dispute their ticket on these grounds will likely need support and possibly representation from outside legal counsel.

Some possible and common defenses are noted below, but keep in mind, these may not be entirely applicable to your case, and in certain instances, other entirely different defenses may be possible in your case. Only through consulting with a traffic violations attorney can a driver accurately determine his legal options for disputing a red light ticket.

  • For a red light camera ticket, contest evidence or proof regarding the actual driver of the vehicle or proof that the driver actually owns the vehicle in question.
  • Dispute the timing of traffic signal, specifically, the timing of the yellow light. There are specific standards in place, depending on the speed of the roadway and other factors that mandate traffic signals change at a set timing.
  • Contest the chain of custody of the evidence in your case, specifically if the citation stems from a red light camera.
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